Low budget stunts that never fail to hit the headlines

Whether it be global brands or small, privately owned, businesses, a well-executed marketing stunt can be invaluable for brand growth. Some memorable examples of this include Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner’s Stratos Jump, Paddy Power and Nicklas Bendtner’s underwear prank, and Reebok’s Uncle Drew series.

As the aforementioned examples attest, stunts are conceived on varying budgets – Paddy Power’s relationship with Bendtner costing considerably less than the multi millions invested by Red Bull into Felix Baumgartner and the Stratos Jump. Whilst the Red Bull activity was unrivalled in its success, the example of Paddy Power proves how a relatively low-budget stunt can still garner exceptional results. For this reason, it has become an invaluable tool for many smaller businesses and brands, and there are several ideas that we’ve seen rolled out, to contrasting degrees of success, numerous times. Here are some of our favourites:

Local Café in (insert relevant municipal) creates Britain’s largest (subtract one of: burger/ breakfast)

If you own a small café or restaurant and harbour ambitions for national news coverage, this is the stunt for you. The introduction of Adam Richman’s iconic ‘Man vs Food’ TV series to these shores has piqued public interest in gargantuan meals thus capturing the attention of the media. We’ve lost track of the number of times we’ve read about Britain’s biggest breakfast or burger.

This is most certainly a low-budget stunt with the prevailing culinary theme being that of quantity over quality. Additionally, both national and regional news outlets will need little encouragement to send a journalist to attempt the feast and this in turn will encourage customers to do likewise.

Whilst this stunt has become slightly cliché, if the meal is calorific enough, the eatery’s profile will rise meaning that until the British public tire of this fad, UK breakfasts will keep getting bigger!

(Insert relevant semi-professional club) launches audacious bid for wantaway (insert relevant Premier League club) star

All football fans will be familiar with this stunt that we see wheeled out during every transfer window. A lower league club tweets at a high profile footballer or club offering their services. Whilst these are almost always jocular in their intent, they still create a buzz on social media and often make their way into the football pages.

Yes these are repetitive, but they remain humorous and guarantee exposure for small clubs via both social and traditional media whilst costing nothing. This is crucial in the fight to generate revenue through gate receipts and sponsorship and therefore makes the stunt still worth doing.

(Insert relevant pub / group) to attempt Guinness World Record for (insert relevant world record)

This is another continually repeated, yet sure-fire stunt for a small business or organisation to generate conversations. The oft-trialed technique is for a group or organisation to pick a seemingly obscure world record, seek approval from Guinness and then announce their attempt.

Undoubtedly this is a great way for local businesses to market themselves to their immediate public with local newspapers usually very interested in these sorts of stories.

Equally, dependent on the scale of the record attempt, this can be a cost-effective way to both entice potential customers to your venue as well as raising general awareness.

Unless the record attempt is truly ridiculous, this stunt is largely limited to a local audience but as with the previous two examples, is often still successful.

Giant (insert relevant object) spotted floating down River Thames

Another marketing ploy activated every few months is the combination of giant (we’re sensing a theme here) inanimate object and the River Thames. With the Thames splitting London in two, of course if utilised as a platform for a marketing stunt it will generate attention.

Undoubtedly this will cost a business more than the preceding three examples, but in comparison to other marketing initiatives it is still low budget.

With towering office blocks, houses, restaurants and busy walkways lining the Thames, the river has constant eyes on it. Therefore, despite the lack of originality, if there is sufficient abnormality with the elected floating item, the stunt is guaranteed to raise awareness of whatever it is marketing.

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